In progress…

Recently, I’ve been working on the Collette Laurel pattern- was initially intending on making it for the contest, but then uni came up, as it always does, and stopped me dead in my tracks. Here’s where I’m up to so far!



Apart from being unflattering from the front, this top isn’t so bad. But here I’ve  pointed out the main fit issue:


It’s like I’ve accidentally made the back panels from the pattern piece for the size up. Or maybe for two sizes up…. There is so much room back there I could carry around a cat on my back and nobody would be any the wiser.

Here is my wonderful partners attempt at pinning out the excess fabric for me:


You can’t entirely tell from the picture, but that’s a whopping 4 inches of fabric that has been pinned out there- FOUR INCHES. That’s quite a lot of excess fabric. I don’t really understand how this can be, because I made this size based on my bust measurement, and it should have been bang on. I know I’ve lost a bit of weight. But not in the two weeks that I’ve been working on this top… And I certainly haven’t lost 4″ of bust size. I double checked that I definitely had used the right pattern pieces etc, and I definitely have, so apparently most people who make Collette patterns definitely have very full backs compared to me. Or something. I’m pretty broad shouldered though, so I’d be surprised. And I’m definitely confused about how I need to take out four inches across the back  when this is meant to only just be big enough to get my bust in.

If any of you have some enlightening explanation of how this might have occurred, please feel free to let me know!

In the meantime, the other alteration I want to make is the drop the neckline to make it more flattering… at the moment, it’s not all that alluring:


It seems to do this weird thing that makes all of me look bigger at the top. Not a great look! But check out my new spectacles- awesome, no? They’re the first new glasses I’ve had in five years. FIVE YEARS people. I’m in love.

I’m also thinking I might chop off those sleeve and make them into short sleeves- they’re a bit half assed formal at this length. And a bit baggy.

The fabric is from my stash, yay stashbusting! It was from part of my mum’s stash that she offloaded to me. Talk about making a free top! It’s cotton sateen, and you can’t really tell in the photo’s, but it’s actually a dark navy blue with all those pretty roses on the top. It was a whole half yard shorter than the recommended amount of fabric for this version of the pattern. Check out my scraps- epic fabric efficiency here my friends:


That was some serious cutting skillz right there. There was barely enough fabric left over to take a photo of…

Any way, this is now sitting on my desk, with the binding on the neckline ripped off, waiting for me to sew out all that extra fabric at the back and cut down that neckline at the front. One day I’ll get around to it! It’s rapidly moving into winter down here and I could use a few more tops like this, so hopefully I manage to squeeze the time in soon!

What about all of you? Have you got projects you’re stuck half way with?



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13 Responses to In progress…

  1. geebeew says:

    Oh, the curse of the baggy Colette back! I have that exact same problem every time… so I’ve now pretty much given up on Colette patterns! Just too much adjustment for me. I”ve heard other boggers mention it too, so we aren’t just genetic freaks. 🙂 Hope you get the fit sorted out!

  2. Colette patterns are notorious for … how to say… not very flattering fit. I’ve tried three of their patterns and succeeded with only one. So I put a cross on Colette patterns. Although, I have to say, I love to read!

    I think this top looks super cute on you and I would not change a thing (besides fitting the back, of course). It looks like perfect autumn/winter top that goes with all sorts of cardigans. Think about it 😉

    • Thanks 🙂 It’s nice to know it isn’t just me! At least once I’ve transferred the alterations over to my paper pattern I’ll have a semi-decent block to work off, so it’s not all in vain!

  3. frocksford says:

    I’m stuck halfway with all of my projects! I think it’s more of a lifestyle than anything else.

    I think I agree with you, though, about your planned alterations. It’s certainly not unwearable now, but it would be more flattering with a lower neckline and a shorter sleeve. I really like the contrasting bias tape – it looks gorgeous!!!

    • Thanks 🙂 I’m glad I had the little swatch of blue fabric stashed away, it was a bit of a stroke of genius- particularly because I didn’t even vaguely have enough of the fabric to make bias tape from that!

  4. Eleanor (undeadgoat) says:

    The thing about the Laurel is that it really ought to be made in a drapier fabric . . . the fitting through the back is helpful for me at least in controlling the box, but I made my first out of basic muslin cotton and I’m thinking my next outing with the pattern will be a sleeveless semi-sheer! Their copy implies that this is a dress and blouse for the fitted vintage set, which it’s not . . . it’s definitely on-trend for 2013 boxiness though!

    • Yep, I totally agree! I was just perusing the contest winners on the colletterie blog though, and saw the sneaky use of some vertical front darts as well, and I’m thinking they might need to be thrown in there for good luck…

  5. Gjeometry says:

    Very cute blouse! I have never made the Collette Laurel pattern before or actually any Collette patterns as yet. So, not sure how to help you with the fitting issue.

    • It’s totally fine, I just threw it out there hoping someone might have a magical solution, but I think I have to suck it up and fix it up the way I was first intending to….

      • Gjeometry says:

        Ya, I did not notice any ‘back sag’ issues in the photo. Also wanted to let you know that I won a Pattern Pyramid and just posted it, so feel free to have a look and enter!

  6. Kbenco says:

    The blouse is looking nicely constructed, and your fabric is such a good score!
    If you look at photos of Sarai, she has slightly forward shoulders and a rounded upper back, which are fairly common fitting issues in the general population. After wrestling through 3 toiles of Lady Grey, I am pretty sure that Collette patterns are drafted for a forward shoulder and rounded upper back,( just like Sarai) – which are fitting issues you do not have. (Sandra Betzina Vogue patterns have this drafting block too)To undo this drafting change the adjustments are 1. move the shoulder seam by lengthening the front shoulder piece and shortening the back shoulder piece – it looks to me as if both the shoulder seam and the apex of the sleeve are in front of the point of your shoulder. You then need to narrow the upper back pieces -like the reverse of a FBA. – cut horizontally and vertically to below the shoulder blade, then overlap the cut pieces in the puffy back area whilst keeping the outer edges of the pattern piece aligned (I stick them back together with sticky tape. This is sometimes called an upright posture adjustment in older sewing books but I did not see anything immediately useful come up when I googled it by this name.
    You may also like to rotate the sleeve slightly backwards, but check this after altering the shoulder seam position.
    I hope this helps and does not sound too bossy. Your top looks pretty good already and I found the Lady Grey fitting very, very dull 😉

    • Thanks, that’s actually really helpful! I’m goin to make some “butchery” adjustments to get this top to fit, and make those alterations to my flat pattern and try again- since this top hasn’t cost me any money I’ll be happy to just make it wearable, but I feel like if I can get this block right, it will be a good blank canvas for lots of other things! Thanks for your suggestion 🙂

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